Search This Blog

31 May 2011

Now for sale on eBay! Heavy water! 10 grams of deuterium oxide!

Click image to enlarge.

Now for sale on eBay:

10 grams pure deuterium oxide (D2O, heavy water) in glass vial

Deuterium is a rare isotope of hydrogen (making up 0.015% of all hydrogen) that, unlike regular hydrogen, has a neutron.  This neutron doubles its mass and gives it slightly different chemical properties.  Full D2O molecules (as opposed to DHO molecules) make up about 0.0000023% of all water molecules. 

Deuterium oxide, or heavy water, is about 11% heavier than regular water.  It also has a higher melting point and higher boiling point.  It is nontoxic, though it cannot be taken as a replacement for regular water. Studies have shown that a body water mass of about 50% deuterium oxide is fatal. Deuterium oxide is used in some nuclear reactors as a neutron moderator.  Regular water and some other materials can also be used for this purpose.

24 May 2011

The Hampshire-Franklin Variola Protective Collective / Smallpox lives! / Pick on something your own size

Click image to enlarge.

Comments from previous 
EuroVision Song Contest Post


patfromch said...

    Oh, it was TermiteFunFest again ? Apparently the Swiss came in last, no surprise there. I still shudder to think that the last time we won this nonsense bloody flaming Celine Dion had to help us. Who would have thought that this foghorn would have a world career with the same godawful kwatsch ? And who would have thought she is still around, doing that very same kwatsch ?

    Panem et circenses for the dumbed down masses, a freak show for people with more enthusiasm than talent and bigger egos than brains for 15 minutes of fame. And how come I write almost the same rant every year ?
    Monday, 23 May, 2011  
Blogger Vleeptron Dude said...

    First time I visited Yerp, I was stumbling around Amsterdam and a huge crowd of tourists encircled Leidseplein. A family of street performers ... one fellow, about 20, took a huge swig from a bottle that said LAMPFUIL, then put a match to his lips, and began blowing a huge fireball of flame out of his mouth.

    Two young American women were standing within earshot of me. One was mesmerized. The other was disgusted, both at the Fire Eater (a real minimalist mega-tattooed punk), and at her friend for wasting 0.002 seconds of her life watching this primitive special.

    "Well, that's Show Biz," she said, grabbed her friend's arm, and dragged her away.

    Jeez -- if I want to catch next year's TermiteFest, and I fall asleep on the train, I could wake up in IRAN!!!

    Surprise Surprise! Did you read the lyrics to "Running Scared"? The winning song was about .................. LOVE!!!

    (Bring back Lordi!)
    Tuesday, 24 May, 2011  
Blogger Vleeptron Dude said...

    (just wake up, not enough coffee yet ...)

    ...for wasting 0.002 seconds of her life watching this primitive ***spectacle***.
    Tuesday, 24 May, 2011  
Anonymous patfromch said...

    I too have walked down the Leitseplein, lots of good restaurants, cheep beer, good coffee shops with extra menue.

    Now just for laughs what if one country would send something avant garde and radical, like Einstürzende Neubauten in their prime, Diamanda Galas, John Zorn with Torture Garden or something as loud and drastic as The Ramones to this event ? Something so alien, strange and shocking to the termites it would provoke a massive scandal. Now that would be fun ! Maybe we Swiss could to that, we always end up last so there would be nothing to loose anyway.
    Tuesday, 24 May, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

    something your own size - smallpox virus lives on!
    Tuesday, 24 May, 2011  
Blogger Vleeptron Dude said...

    Well, Anonymous Anonymous' comment about smallpox is certainly very strange.

    A week before April Fool's Day sometime around 1980, me and a bunch of pals decided to crank out a press release to all the local media from the
Variola Protective Collective

to protest the plans of the World Health Organization to destroy the last samples of smallbox virus (variola) on Earth -- in 2 refrigerators, one in the USA, the other in the Soviet Union.

    We announced a meeting at the University of Massachusetts. We had a biology professor from NYU who was going to talk about the proposed National MicroZoo, after which we were going to show a documentary film, "Something Your Own Size," narrated by Robert Redford. The meeting was scheduled for the evening of 1 April.

    2 local newspapers ran our press release -- but both editors smelled something very fishy about it, made some phone calls, and wrote that as far as they were concerned, the Hampshire-Franklin Variola Protective Collective was a big April Fool's fraud.

    So who the hell is this Anonymous? Were you part of the H-FVPC???
    Tuesday, 24 May, 2011

23 May 2011

Ell and Nikki win Eurovision Song Contest in Düsseldorf!!! / Next year it's in Baku, Ajerbaijan!!! Make your reservations NOW!

Click images to enlarge.

BBC News
Saturday 14 May 2011

Azerbaijan wins
Eurovision Song Contest

Next year's contest will be held 
in the winner's capital city of Baku

Azerbaijan has been crowned the winner of this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Germany, while the UK came 11th.

Eldar Gasimov and Nigar Jamal of Ell/Nikki were voted Europe's favourites, after scoring 221 points with their love song, Running Scared.

Newly reformed band Blue notched up 100 points, whilst Ireland's entry, X Factor twins Jedward, finished eighth.

Italy's Raphael Gualazzi took second place, followed by Eric Saade from Sweden.

'Happiest man'

It is the first time that Azerbaijan has won the contest in the incredibly schlocky kitschy contest's 56-year history, having only joined Eurovision in 2008.

Although Jamal was born in Azerbaijan, she currently lives in north London with her husband and two daughters.

On receiving the trophy, Gasimov said he was the "the happiest man in the world".

It was another disappointing year for the UK, which has not won the competition since 1997, when Katrina and the Waves triumphed with Love Shine a Light.

However, Blue managed to notch up a respectable score compared with last year's entry, who came last with only 10 points.

At one early stage during the voting process Bulgaria and Italy both awarded the UK high scores, making it briefly top of the results table.

Host Graham Norton joked: "Quick, someone take a picture."

Last year's winner Lena Mayer-Landrut, who represented Germany again, beat the UK by seven points to finish 10th.

Viewers at home in all 43 competing nations voted for their favourite song by phone or text message, which accounted for half of each country's vote.

The other 50% was determined by five-member expert juries in each participating country.

Two rounds of semi-finals held earlier in the week whittled the competitors down to 25 finalists.

The event, which was hosted by Anke Engelke, Judith Rakers and Stefan Raab, attracted 35,000 to the Fortuna Düsseldorf Arena.
- 30 -


    15th May 2011 - 15:35

    I love Eurovision and watch every year and am happy for my tv licence money to go towards it....I don't watch Dr. Who or Football or Eastenders, there will always be stuff on tv you don't watch but someone else does so stop moaning about it. It's 3 odd hours one saturday a year not the end of the world, just enjoy the event and stop reading to much into everything.

    origami Penguin
    15th May 2011 - 14:07

    It's just a bit of fun. Personally, I don't care who wins. People ought to lighten up instead of treating it like a modern media version of the Hundred Years War.

    15th May 2011 - 13:49

    Isn't it rather strange that most of these groups sing in English? Shouldn't there be a rule that you must sing in your mother tongue i.e. in the language (or one of the several languages) of the participating country? I thought that Europe meant cultural and linguistic diversity. All these songs sound like Mid-Atlantic goo, without any connection to the culture of the country concerned.

    15th May 2011 - 12:48

    No, I didn't watch it, because I don't like either that kind of music or that kind of show. But a lot of people do, and anything which brings so many countries together in an informal and (I suppose) mainly friendly way can't be bad. So long live the thing until too many people get fed up with it .

    15th May 2011 - 9:30

    Eurovision is absolutely abysmal but it is something to be treasured. Fetish tv at it's worst. Today will be full of people asking "Did you see it?" and you'll be hard put to find somebody who says 'yes' even though they sat glued to every minute.
    Of course, I didn't see it myself, never watched it... never have watched it either..... 11th place? Really? Better luck next year then ;-)


"Running Scared"
winner Eurovision Song Contest 2011

Performer: Ell/Nikki

Song writer(s): Stefan Örn (Razor Boy Music Publishing Sweden), Sandra Bjurman
Song composer(s): Stefan Örn (Razor Boy Music Publishing Sweden), Sandra Bjurman, Iain James Farquharson (Sony / ATV UK)

Come to me, come to me tonight
Oh god I need you, anyway... baby
I just wanna be, be around you all the time
Oh god I need you.. oh...

I'm running I'm scared tonight
I'm running I'm scared of life
I'm running I'm scared of breathing
Coz I adore you
I'm running I'm scared tonight
I'm running I'm scared of breathing
Coz I adore you

Come to me, come to me a bit more
Oh god I need you, there's nothing left for me to say
So rest on me darling, stay forever more
Oh god I need you, I need you

I'm running I'm scared tonight
I'm running I'm scared of life
I'm running I'm scared of breathing
Coz I adore you
I'm running I'm scared tonight
I'm running I'm scared of breathing
Coz I adore you

Oh, what I wouldn't give away
To be you're shelter and keep you safe… oh… oh..

I'm running I'm scared tonight
I'm running I'm scared of life
I'm running I'm scared of breathing
Coz I adore you
I'm running I'm scared tonight
I'm running I'm scared of breathing
Coz I adore you

21 May 2011

Okay 70 minutes until The End of The World hereabouts! / hot white babes go to the head of the Rapture line!

Click image to enlarge.

The website from which I filched these two images of The Rapture pointed out that the artists seem to suggest that all the lucky Christians who will be wafted directly to Heaven are white, Caucasian. 

I grew up in the racially segregated USA South, and now find it particularly dismaying to discover that Heaven may also have a WHITES ONLY sign on it.

The bottom image has the characteristic art style of Archie Comics. If that's correct, it's because (Wikipedia:)


In 1973, [Archie Comics founder and CEO John L.] Goldwater "licens[ed] Archie for evangelical Christian messages," despite his personal Jewish faith, feeling that the "sentiments were in line with his wholesome family message." The comics were written and illustrated by one of the Archie regulars, Al Hartley, and were published by Spire Christian Comics.


Besides being white, the bottom image suggests that being a hot young babe is a definite advantage for being chosen for the Rapture. 

And why not? You have a problem with that?

20 May 2011

Okay! It's Saturday here now! End of World commences at 6 pm!

Click comic strip to enlarge.

The Los Angeles Times
Friday 20 May 2011 / 22:38 PDT

Harold Camping is 
at the heart of a 

Doomsday predictor Harold Camping is less than rapturous over the focus on him as a result of his prediction that the world will end Saturday.

by Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Oakland, California -- Harold Camping's promised final show Thursday night was much like his others. For an hour and a half, before a backdrop of wood paneling and fake plants in an Oakland studio, the self-styled scriptural scholar fielded calls from the devout, the derisive and the curious. He is 89 and bone-thin, making the leather-bound Bible on his lap seem enormous, and his voice was slow and unflappable.

Near the show's end, Camping cut short a caller to announce that this would be his last appearance on the "Open Forum" TV and radio show he's hosted for decades. After all, he explained with a warm smile, the world would be ending Saturday night.

Then he shook hands with a couple of crewmen. "I probably won't see you again," he announced. "I won't be here again."

The former engineer has long predicted the apocalypse, most famously in 1994, but his new date — May 21, 2011 — has received unprecedented publicity. That is thanks to a worldwide $100-million campaign of caravans and billboards, financed by the sale and swap of TV and radio stations.

It is impossible to say how many people take Camping seriously, though his message reaches millions of listeners and viewers on 66 stations across the country, and on many more worldwide. His prophecies have been mocked on late-night television and debated with derision on CNN. This weekend, atheist groups and other skeptics are planning doomsday parties across the country.

As for believers, many will be gathered quietly with their families, waiting for Jesus' return. Among them is Tom Evans, 55, who has served as Camping's public relations aide in the lead-up to this weekend. He has been counting down in his 2011 "At-A-Glance" calendar: Day 100, Day 99, Day 98….

In the book, Evans has noted his appointments over his expected last weeks on Earth, and a reminder of his daughter's 3rd birthday. On May 21, he has written the words, "Have mercy Lord!" The rest of the book is blank.

The apocalypse will strike, Camping teaches, on May 21, wherever it happens to be 6 p.m. That means it will be Friday night in America when what Camping calls "super terrible" earthquakes will hit the New Zealand region.

The earthquakes will then roll on, time zone by time zone. The saved, perhaps 2% to 3% of the world population, will be whisked to God, while the rest will be obliterated in what he calls "a super horror story."

Camping reads neither Hebrew nor Greek, the two main languages of the Bible, but insists his arithmetic is ironclad. He calculates that God gave humanity 7,000 years to prepare for its destiny, just as Noah had seven days to prepare for the flood, and that May 21 is the terminus of human history if one counts time by the Jewish calendar. There are other signs of the end, he teaches. Gay rights. The rebirth of Israel, and the Jewish state's rejection of Jesus.

As it happens, at least two of Camping's studio staff are Jewish – including his cameraman – and are among the many non-believers in his employ. The most outspoken in-house critic happens to be his longtime producer, Matt Tuter, 53, who believes Jesus will return some day but that it is a sin to presume to pinpoint a date.

"He leaves out numbers he doesn't like," Tuter said of Camping's numerological analysis of the Bible. Tuter said he can no longer keep track of all the times Camping has predicted the end of the world.

Tuter thinks $100 million is a conservative figure for the money Camping has spent publicizing May 21. On Friday, employees at Family Radio headquarters in Oakland were given a paid day off, though some of them chuckled at the irony that the money would not appear in the paychecks until June.

Across the country, nonbelievers are throwing parties.

Among many other gatherings, the group American Atheists is hosting rapture parties in Wichita, Kan., and Houston and at a tiki bar in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. But its biggest event will be not far from Camping's church — a two-day conference at the Oakland Masonic Center.

"We're going to poke fun at these people, but in the end we need to keep in mind that there are people being hurt here," said David Silverman, president of the New Jersey-based group. "We're hoping people look at this and learn to use their brains … so we don't have an occurrence of this in 2012" — when some believe the Mayas predicted the Earth's demise.

On Facebook someone has created a page publicizing a "Pre-Rapture Orgy." The location: "Streets of America, Baby." As of mid-ay Friday, more than 6,300 people had messaged that they were "attending."

Camping has announced that he will spend Saturday with his family in Oakland.

But he has acknowledged that his preoccupation with the apocalypse has alienated him from many of the people he loves. "It's so bad, most of my family I can't even talk about it with," Camping said.

Of his six living children, only one believes his message. "The grandkids aren't around that much," Tuter said. "I think Harold has a very sad life. I've been around him every day for 23 years. I do not envy his life."

Tuter is bracing himself for the reaction among Family Radio listeners when next week materializes. "I think it's going to absolutely devastate a lot of these people," Tuter said. "You have people who have given up their jobs, sold their homes, maxed out their credit cards."

For months, dozens of volunteers have been crossing the country in caravan fleets, enduring middle fingers and other forms of ridicule as they distribute brochures. Tuter said he doesn't know how many actually believe the message they're preaching. "They've had a divorce or some other major trauma in their life, and they're grabbing onto this as something to go and do," he said.

Camping rarely leaves Oakland, and his life is a circuit between the station and his home a few miles away. Though his organization has large financial holdings, he drives a 1993 Camry and lives in a modest house. In an otherwise immaculate living room, the white drapes are unkempt, frayed and torn at the edges. Were the end of the world not approaching, Camping said, his wife of 68 years, Shirley, would have done something about them. "She would never permit the drapes to look like that," he said.

On Thursday night, just before Camping's promised final appearance on "Open Forum," he entered the studio agitated. He kept getting interview requests, and some reporters were turning to atheists to rebut his views. He was tired of it.

"Since they got rid of Bin Laden, they don't have anybody to focus on, so they focus on me," Camping said. "I really am besieged. I'm public enemy No. 1 right now in the whole world."

But he seemed to catch his stride as the show progressed. Some callers yelled at him. He seemed to grow calm amid their attacks. After his farewell to his listeners and viewers, after his quick goodbyes to his staff, he made his way to his car with his Bible under his arm.

It was so late, and so many people wanted his time. "I want to sneak out," Camping said. "They'll say, 'Where is he? He disappeared in thin air.'"
- 30 -

Times staff writer Mike Anton contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times


BoscoBob at 10:30 PM May 20, 2011

I just checked the USGS latest earthquakes. Not only is New Zealand not having massive earthquakes, but the world is at the lowest level of earthquakes in the last week.

How sad that people are so desperate to believe in anything. I was thinking that the people who believed and are still here on May 22nd...are they going to believe that they weren't righteous enough and they are going to Hell? And, will that include Harold Camping...?

ticklemeoj at 10:25 PM May 20, 2011

Run to the church and confess your sins to the priest (just don't bring the kids). The end of the world is upon us. Save yourself!

ntnglmnt at 10:22 PM May 20, 2011

It is now 6:05 pm on Chatham Island off the coast of New Zealand.  Can we expect an announcement from Camping?  Or just a reset of the dates for a new batch of the foolish and gullible.

syehuss at 10:17 PM May 20, 2011


eeejay at 10:16 PM May 20, 2011


syehuss at 10:15 PM May 20, 2011


syehuss at 10:15 PM May 20, 2011


AndrewMikeKeith at 10:13 PM May 20, 2011

There should be specialized shrinks who deal with 89 year old wing nuts and their crazy ideas.
wdw123 at 10:06 PM May 20, 2011

Here's another fact-check:
Quoting from the above article, "He calculates that God gave humanity 7,000 years to prepare for its destiny, just as Noah had seven days to prepare for the flood,..."

"Seven days to prepare for the flood" is nonsensical.  The ark/ship was at least 450 feet long, based on dimensions given in Genesis 6:15 (a "cubit" is the distance between an adult's elbow and the tip of the longest finger).  How could Noah have built such a large ship in seven days???  Undoubtedly, it took Noah years (probably decades) to build the ark - i.e., to "prepare for the flood."

The "seven days" reference perhaps comes from Genesis 7:4 where God said to Noah, "For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made."  But here God is speaking AFTER Noah had finished building the ark (in Genesis 6); God was telling Noah it was time to take his family and the animals into the ark because **the flooding would begin in seven days**.  But Noah had been **preparing** for the flood (building the ark) for years.

It's a complete misstatement to say "Noah had seven days to prepare for the flood."

daniel molitor at 10:17 PM May 20, 2011

And Paul Bunyon dug the Grand Canyon in a fortnight.

Oh, wait. No, he didn't. He wasn't real.

wdw123 at 10:06 PM May 20, 2011

Camping's claims are completely baseless.  The Bible expressly says that we do not know the timing of Jesus' Second Coming (i.e., the day of judgment, the end of the world).  For example, I Thessalonians 5 says the day of the Lord comes "as a thief in the night"; in other words, a thief doesn't tell you what time he's going to break in - there's no advance warning, so to speak.

wgalison at 10:03 PM May 20, 2011

A little song about the end of the world:

evilrob at 10:03 PM May 20, 2011

Even better, is that when Christ was asked when the end of times would come, he pretty much said that he does not know his father's mind, and neither shall we. So, for Camping to decide that he can know the mind of the Lord Almighty, pretty much secures him a non-participation status in the Rapture. Way to go Harry! Not only do you claim to know something God wouldn't tell Jesus to spread to the people, but you *ALSO* ignore the requirements that must come to pass before the rapture occurs. Good job.

ticklemeoj at 9:52 PM May 20, 2011

Run for your lives. The sky is failing! The sky is falling!

19 May 2011

how to meet strangers in East Asia / the beautiful game of Go /

Click images to enlarge.

 圍棋     围棋

 碁, 囲碁



Just learn the rules to this amazing, beautiful, hypnotic game. The rules are incredibly simple, far simpler than the rules of chess.

Of course learning to play well ... not so simple.

But like chess in Europe and Cuba (and of course in Little Havana in Miami), this game will get you in solid with strangers in Japan, China, Tibet, Korea, Vietnam. (I recommend starting in South Korea first.)

The very cool thing about this ancient game is that although computer chess now regularly destroys human grandmasters, the world's best computer Go programs are STILL incompetent losers, and talented children beat the crap out of them all the time. And trust me, a LOT of brilliant programmers have spent their lives trying to create a champion computer Go program. It's a central challenge in the field of Artificial Intelligence -- just as computer chess used to be before Deep Thought and Deep Blue.


Click on images to enlarge.

The Washington Post (USA daily broadsheet)
Wednesday 18 May 2011

Under God:

May 21, 2011: 
Harold Camping’s
calculations for the 
end of the world

by Elizabeth Flock

Harold Camping explains his calculations for the end date in an interview in April. (Screengrab from Family Radio evangelist Harold Camping is certain “Judgment Day” is coming this 

Saturday 21 May

On that day, Jesus will return to earth and set into motion a five-month countdown to the end of the world.

Camping arrived at the date of May 21 through some complex calculations he says are drawn from the Bible. In case you’re perplexed, as many biblical scholars are, we’ve drawn out the calculations for you:

Get it now? If not, Camping will further explain it to you: “Five times 10 times 17 is telling you a story. It’s the story from the time Christ made payment for your sins until you’re completely saved.”

“I tell ya, I just about fell off my chair when I realized that,” he said.

- 30 -


2011 end times prediction

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 2011 end times prediction made by Christian radio host Harold Camping states that the Rapture (in premillennial theology, the taking up into heaven of God's elect people) will take place on

Saturday 21 May 2011

[1][2] at 6 P.M. local time (the rapture will sweep the globe time zone by time zone) [3] and that the end of the world as we know it will take place five months later on October 21, 2011.[4] Camping, president of the Family Radio Christian network, claims the Bible as his source and says May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the day of judgment "beyond the shadow of a doubt".[5] His followers claim that around 200 million people (approximately 3% of the world's population) will be raptured.[6]

Camping's predictions have not been embraced by most other Christian groups;[7] some have explicitly rejected them.[8][9][10][11] An interview with a group of church leaders noted that all of them have scheduled services as usual for Sunday, May 22.[12] Camping previously claimed that the world would end in September 1994.


"I know it's absolutely true, because the Bible is always absolutely true."[13]
— Harold Camping, president, Family Radio

Camping has presented several numerological[14] arguments, or biblical "proofs", in favor of the May 21st end time. A civil engineer by training, Camping states he has attempted to work out mathematically-based prophecies in the Bible for decades. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle he explained "...I was an engineer, I was very interested in the numbers. I'd wonder, 'Why did God put this number in, or that number in?' It was not a question of unbelief, it was a question of, 'There must be a reason for it.' "[15]
Harold Camping being interviewed about his prediction in early 2011.

As early as 1970, Camping dated the Great Flood to 4990 BC.[16] Taking the prediction in Genesis 7:4 ("Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth") to be a prediction of the end of the world, and combining it with 2 Peter 3:8 ("With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day"), Camping concludes that the end of the world will occur in 2011, 7000 years from 4990 BC.[6] Camping takes the 17th day of the second month mentioned in Genesis 7:11 to be the 21st May, and hence predicts the rapture to occur on this date.[6]

Another argument[17] that Camping uses in favor of the May 21st date is as follows:

    According to Camping, the number five equals "atonement", the number ten equals "completeness", and the number seventeen equals "heaven".
Christ is said to have hung on the cross on April 1, 33 AD. The time between April 1, 33 AD and April 1, 2011 is 1,978 years.
If 1,978 is multiplied by 365.2422 days (the number of days in a solar year, not to be confused with the lunar year), the result is 722,449.
The time between April 1 and May 21 is 51 days.

    51 added to 722,449 is 722,500.
    (5 × 10 × 17)^2 
(atonement × completeness × heaven)^2 also equals 722,500.

Thus, Camping concludes that 5 × 10 × 17 is telling us a "story from the time Christ made payment for our sins until we're completely saved."[15]

Camping has not been precise about the exact timing of the event, saying that "maybe" we can know the hour.[18] He has suggested that "days" in the Bible refer to daylight hours particularly.[18] Another account says the "great earthquake" which signals the start of the Rapture will "start in the Pacific Rim at around the 6 p.m. local time hour, in each time zone."[19]

In Camping's book 1994?, self-published in 1992, he predicted that the End Times would come in September 1994 (variously reported as September 4[13] or September 6[20]). When the Rapture failed to occur on the appointed day, Camping said he had made a mathematical error.[21]


Camping's rapture prediction, along with some of his other teachings and beliefs, have sparked some controversy in the Christian world. His critics often quote Bible verses (such as Matthew 24:36) which they claim imply the date of the end will never be known by anyone but God until it actually happens. James Kreuger, author of the book Secrets of the Apocalypse - Revealed, has stated that while he believes the rapture is coming, Camping is incorrect in attempting to nail down a date. "For all his learning, Camping makes a classic beginner's mistake when he sets a date for Christ's return," writes Kreuger. "Jesus himself said in Matthew 24:36, 'Of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my father only.'"[15] However, Camping and his followers respond that this principle only applied to the "church age" or "pre-tribulation period" and does not apply to the present day, citing other verses (such as 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5:5) in their rebuttal.[22]

In a 2001 pamphlet, Camping asserted that believers should "flee the church," resigning from any church they belong to, because the "Church Age" is over and the "Great Tribulation" has begun.[23] This assertion was controversial[24] and drew "a flurry of attacks".[23]

Edwin M. Yamauchi critiqued Camping's dating of the Flood when Camping first published his ideas in 1970.[16]

Criticism of the May 21 prediction has ranged from serious critique to ridicule. Theology professor Matthew L. Skinner, writing at the Huffington Post, noted the "long history of failed speculation" about the End Times and cautioned that end-of-the-world talk can lead Christians to social passivity instead of "working for the world's redemption".[25] Some columnists have mocked the prediction with humorous columns from a skeptical viewpoint.[26][27]

Evolutionary biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins dismissed Camping's prediction, writing that "he will inevitably explain, on May 22nd, that there must have been some error in the calculation, the rapture is postponed to ... and please send more money to pay for updated billboards."[28] California Director of American Atheists Larry Hicock said that "Camping's well-intentioned rapture campaign is indicative of the problems with religion".[29]

Camping's prediction and his promotion of it via his radio network and other promotional means have spread the prediction globally,[14] which has led believers and non-believers to a variety of actions.

In 2010, Marie Exley of Colorado Springs made news by purchasing advertising space in her locality, promoting the alleged Rapture date on a number of park benches.[30] Since then, 'Judgment Day' billboards have been erected at locations across the world.[31] Some people have adorned their vehicles with the information.[32]

On October 27, 2010, Family Radio launched "Project Caravan". Five RVs arrayed with reflector lettering that declare that Judgment Day begins on May 21, 2011 were sent out from their headquarters in Oakland, California, to Seattle, Washington. Upon arrival, teams are sent out to distribute tracts.[33] The caravan has made stops in Oregon,[34] California, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Florida, Utah, Maryland,[35] and other states, as well as Canada and Mexico.[citation needed]

Hmong gathering

About 5000[14] ethnic Hmong gathered at a remote town in Viet Nam's Muong Nhe province in early May, where they planned to await the arrival of Christ. The Vietnamese government broke up the gathering and arrested some people, describing them as "extremists".[36] Pastor Doan Trung Tin indicated that a translated version of Camping's prediction had influenced about 300 of his parishioners to go to the assembly point, selling their belongings to be able to afford the journey via bus.[37]

Skeptical responses

The group Seattle Atheists formed the Rapture Relief Fund which they will use "to help survivors of any Armageddon-sized disaster in the Puget Sound area";[38] if the rapture fails to come as predicted, the money will fund a camp that teaches children about critical thinking.[39] The group American Atheists has sponsored billboards in several American cities declaring the Rapture to be "nonsense", and are holding a party during the period of the predicted rapture.[29]


Camping's writings that detail the timing of the end include:

        1994? (1992 - predicts the End Times for September, 1994)
        Time Has An End (2005 - discusses Camping's belief that 2011 is in all likelihood the end of the world)
        Has the Era of the Church Come to an End? (2001 - advises that the Great Tribulation has begun and that Christians should "flee their churches")
        We Are Almost There! (2008 - contains all the information on how May 21, 2011 was arrived at)
        The End of the World is Almost Here! Holy God Will Bring Judgment on May 21, 2011 (2009)
        God Gives Another Infallible Proof That Assures the Rapture Will Occur May 21, 2011 (2009)
        No Man Knows the Day or the Hour? (2009)

See also:

    End time
    Last Judgment
    Great Disappointment
    List of dates of the end of the world
    2012 phenomenon - Another prediction about the end of the world.


    ^ "Jesus Returning to Earth On May 21, 2011". 2010-07-30. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
    ^ "May 21, 2011: Judgment Day believers descend on Joburg". The Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
    ^ "May 21, 2011 - Judgment Day!; October 21, 2011 - The End of the World". 1988-05-21. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
    ^ "End of Days in May? Believers enter final stretch". Associated Press, cited at MSNBC. January 23, 2011. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
    ^ a b c "Judgment Day". Family Radio. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
    ^ "May 21st, The New Christian Doomsday". ReliJournal. May 6, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
    ^ "A Response to Harold Camping's Erroneous Teaching". Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. Retrieved May 9, 2011.
    ^ "Letter to Harold Camping (Family Radio) True Prophet or False?". Retrieved May 10, 2011.
    ^ "Billboards Marking Jesus' Return in May 'Misguided,' Says NT Scholar". Retrieved May 10, 2011.
    ^ "End times theology: an insider’s guide". Retrieved May 10, 2011.
    ^ Church Leaders Across Denominations Reflect on Camping's Prediction NBC29, May 17, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
    ^ a b "Doomsday campers Project Caravan say the world will end May 21". 8 March 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
    ^ a b c End of the world? How about a party instead?, Associated Press, quoted at MSNBC, May 18, 2011. Retrieved May 19, 2011
    ^ a b c Berton, Justin (1 January 2010). "Biblical scholar's date for rapture: May 21, 2011". Retrieved 12 March 2011.
    ^ a b Camping, Harold (1970). "The Biblical Calendar of History". Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation 22. Retrieved 16 May 2011.
    ^ Camping, Harold (August 2010). "We Are Almost There!". Family Stations, Inc. pp. 44-63.
    ^ a b Countdown to Armageddon: Maybe the World Will End Friday Night (or Sunday Morning), Slate, May 7, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2011
    ^ Is The End Nigh? We'll Know Soon Enough, NPR, May 7, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2011
    ^ David S. Reynolds. "The end of the world is here ... again". Retrieved 2011-05-19.
    ^ "Apocalypse Soon: Christian Movement Says 5/21/11". CBS News. 2011-01-03. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
    ^ "No Man Knows The Day Or The Hour?". Retrieved 2010-11-29.
    ^ a b Kellner, Mark (May 21, 2002). "New Dispensation? Camping: 'Leave Church'". Christianity Today. Retrieved April 6, 2011.
    ^ Jackson, Wayne. "Harold Camping’s New Revelation: “Leave the Church!”". Christian Courier. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
    ^ Skinner, Matthew L. (2011-03-27). "Apocalypse Now? A Christian Understanding of the End Times'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
    ^ "Sinners, you have four days until Judgment Day. Are you prepared?". Vancouver Sun. 17 May 2011.
    ^ 10 unhealthy things to do before Armageddon Orange County Register, May 17, 2011. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
    ^ "Science explains the end of the world". On Faith, Washington Post. May 10, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
    ^ a b Middleton, RJ (2011-05-12). "Atheists Offer Doomsdayers a Party". NBC Bay Area. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
    ^ "Bus bench ads on Christ's return funded by unemployed Springs woman". 38.833882;-104.821363: Colorado Springs Gazette. 2010-07-26. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
    ^ "May 21, 2011 Judgment Day and Rapture Billboards". Retrieved 2010-11-29.
    ^ "Examples of "Moving Billboards"". Retrieved 2010-11-29.
    ^ "Project Caravan". Retrieved 2010-12-02.
    ^ "Entourage brings message of doom". Oroville Mercury-Register. 2010-11-30. Retrieved 2010-12-02.
    ^ Gross, Daniel (28 March 2011). "Judgment Day caravan spreads message on campus". The Towerlight. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
    ^ "Vietnam says ‘extremists’ detained after Hmong gathering; area still off limits to media". The Washington Post. 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
    ^ "Vietnam protesters lured by doomsday cult". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
    ^ "Atheists Offer Post-Rapture Services". 2011-05-07. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
    ^ "Seattle Atheists collect for "Rapture Relief Fund'". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 2011-05-13. Retrieved 2011-05-19.

External links

    Official website
    We Can Know
    The Latter Rain
    Family Radio Discussion Forum

Categories: Eschatology | Prophecy

    This page was last modified on 19 May 2011 at 18:53.

17 May 2011

la leçon française / the French lesson / most recent post from Anne Sinclair's blog "Deux ou trois choses vues d'Amérique"

Cliquez sur l'image pour agrandir. 
From the political blog of the USA-born Anne Sinclair, third and current wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Sinclair is one of France's most respected and popular journalists -- chiefly television. When Strauss-Kahn is not in New York City on International Monetary Fund business, the couple lives in Washington DC.


Deux ou trois choses vues d'Amérique
(Two or three things from America)

12 mai 2011
Immigration, décidément, 
là bas comme ailleurs

Profitant d’un taux de popularité résolument à la hausse (avec un nouveau sondage le créditant à plus de 60% - son meilleur score depuis l’état de grâce post-élections), Barack Obama s’est envolé hier pour El Paso (Texas), décidé à s’attaquer de front à la question de l’immigration, un dossier toujours très sensible et polémique, en Amérique comme ailleurs.

Opération communication oblige, c’est dans un arrière-plan de miradors et de barbelés que le président a plaidé pour une réforme nationale de l’immigration – ou plutôt reparlé de son projet de réforme, car il n’est venu que répéter hier des mesures qu’il avait déjà présentées l’été dernier, en plein débat sur le durcissement des contrôles en Arizona.

Car au-delà des enjeux démographiques et migratoires, l’objectif de ce déplacement organisé à la dernière minute était d’abord fondamentalement politique. En effet, la mort de Ben Laden est devenu un prétexte parfait pour les Républicains, qui pressent l’administration Obama de renforcer les effectifs et contrôles aux frontières, agitant les menaces de représailles, et qui mettent la pression aux élus démocrates pour redéfinir la politique de sécurité nationale ou exigent un retrait anticipé en Afghanistan.

Ainsi BO s’est évertué, pendant près de 40 minutes, à renvoyer l’opposition à ses responsabilités, non sans une certaine ironie: "Voici le coeur du problème et je veux que vous prêtiez tous une oreille attentive à ce que je vais vous dire. Nous avons fait tout ce qui était demandé, et même plus, par les Républicains qui se disaient prêts à  soutenir une remise à plat de la loi sur l’immigration, si on l’accompagnait d’un renfort aux frontières. Nous avons répondu à toutes leurs demandes (…) mais [maintenant], ils nous disent que nous devons tripler le nombre des gardes-frontières, [demain}, ils diront qu’il faudra le quadrupler. Ou ils diront qu'ils veulent une barrière plus élevée. Ou peut-être vont-ils réclamer des douves, voire même des alligators dans les douves (Rires)!

Ils ne seront jamais satisfaits. Et je comprends bien [ce qu’ils font]. C’est ca, faire de la politique."

("So, here’s the point. I want everybody to listen carefully to this. We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement. All the stuff they asked for, we’ve done.  But (…) they said we needed to triple the Border Patrol. Or now they’re going to say we need to quadruple the Border Patrol. Or they’ll want a higher fence. Maybe they’ll need a moat. (Laughter.) Maybe they want alligators in the moat. (Laughter.) They’ll never be satisfied. And I understand that. That’s politics.")

Mais Barack Obama ne s’est pas arrêté aux manœuvres d’obstruction multipliées par les élus républicains depuis un an, il a aussi dénoncé les argumentaires aux relents de racisme utilisés par l’opposition qui profite du contexte économique difficile pour sordidement mêler la peur du chômage et de l’étranger: à cause de l’enlisement au Congres, "Regardez Intel, Google, Yahoo et eBay. [Regardez de plus près] ces grandes entreprises américaines, le nombre incalculable d'emplois qu’elles ont créées, le leadership qu’elles nous ont permis de prendre en matière de haute-technologie : chacune [de ces entreprises] a été fondée par un immigré".

Oui, il y a les actes et ceux qui les dénoncent. Il y a la volonté de gouverner pour le mieux de son pays et celle de marquer des points en détruisant toute initiative et en jouant de la surenchère. Oui, il y a bien "faire de la politique" et "avoir une politique". Rarement compatible. Obama en a fait hier la démonstration.

There's not a woman in this town-row / will look at the blackleg miner / USA's Astroturf political movement busts our unions / I'm a Dickhead

 Click image to enlarge. 
Then run over a scab with your truck.

One of the most vile aspects of recent American politics -- the Tea Party, an Astroturf (a synthetic, purchased imitation of grassroot) movement bought and paid for by the creepy gazillionaire Koch Brothers -- is its attempt, in states where it has enjoyed election success, to bust and destroy unions.

In the UK, labor unions enjoy more of a history and more broad public support, often passionate, occasionally violent.

In the UK, "blackleg" is the word for "scab" -- a scumbag who goes to work for a company whose union workers have gone out on strike.

Just singing this anti-scab pro-union song,  which seems to date from early or mid-19th century Northumberland, stirs up such passions and starts such violence that many folk music clubs have banned its performance as recently as the late 1980s -- an era of a protracted, bitter coal-miner strike in the north of England.

Steeleye Span said fuck that (or perhaps sod that) and sang this spirited folk-rock version in Nottingham in 1986 right in the thick of the strike. Read the Comments below. People are passionate on both sides, some spit and curse Steeleye Span, others just embrace them more belovedly.

Another remarkable cover is by Richard Thompson. I love Richard Thompson. (Which makes me, I'm embarrassed to say, a Dickhead.)

I come from a very anti-union family and neighborhood. I started working on newspapers when I was 18, and joined the American Newspaper Guild (AFL/CIO). I've been in other journalist unions since then.

You want to know what's wrong with unions? Just ask me, I have tons of complaints about how labor unions have degenerated and soiled their ideals and promise in modern times.

Want to know what life will be like if the Koch Brothers get their way and buy enough politicians to get rid of unions in America? Here's a sample of the American workplace when there weren't any unions. 

These could have been your sisters or your daughters or your mother. Their crime -- for which they earned a uniquely ghastly variety of the Death Penalty -- was in needing to work to feed their families.

Crap like that made Americans demand unions. Unions keep crap like that from happening. (Do you think bosses give a rat's ass about workplace safety?)

I've never crossed a picket line in my life.

I guess people who microwave and eat babies are worse than scabs.

But not by much. Dirty fucking scab, dirty fucking blackleg miner.


Blackleg Miner
(author/composer unknown, 19th century)

It's in the evening after dark
When the blackleg miner creeps to work
With his moleskin pants and dirty shirt
There goes the blackleg miner!

Well he takes his tools and doon he goes
To hew the coal that lies below
There's not a woman in this town-row
Will look at the blackleg miner

Oh Seghill is a terrible place
They rub wet clay in the blackleg's face
And around the heaps they run a foot race
To catch the blackleg miner!

So, dinna gan near the Delaval mine
Across the way they stretch a line
To catch the throat and break the spine
Of the dirty blackleg miner

They grab his duds and his pick as well
And they hoy them down the pit of hell
Doon ye go, and fare ye well,
You dirty blackleg miner!

So join the union while you may
Don't wait till your dying day
For that may not be far away
You dirty blackleg miner!

16 May 2011

Radium Girls by Eleanor Swanson / Now, even our crumbling bones / will glow forever in the black earth

by Eleanor Swanson

We sat at long tables side by side in a big
dusty room where we laughed and carried
on until they told us to pipe down and paint.
The running joke was how we glowed,
the handkerchiefs we sneezed into lighting
up our purses when we opened them at night,
our lips and nails, painted for our boyfriends
as a lark, simmering white as ash in a dark room.
"Would you die for science?" the reporter asked us,
Edna and me, the main ones in the papers.
Science? We mixed up glue, water and radium
powder into a glowing greenish white paint
and painted watch dials with a little
brush, one number after another, taking
one dial after another, all day long,
from the racks sitting next to our chairs.
After a few strokes, the brush lost its shape,
and our bosses told us to point it with
our lips. Was that science?
I quit the watch factory to work in a bank
and thought I'd gotten class, more money,
a better life, until I lost a tooth in back
and two in front and my jaw filled up with sores.
We sued: Edna, Katherine, Quinta, Larice and me,
but when we got to court, not one of us
could raise our arms to take the oath.
My teeth were gone by then. "Pretty Grace
Fryer," they called me in the papers.
All of us were dying.
We heard the scientist in France, Marie
Curie, could not believe "the manner
in which we worked" and how we tasted
that pretty paint a hundred times a day.
Now, even our crumbling bones
will glow forever in the black earth.

Copyright © 2002 by Eleanor Swanson

the Space Shuttle program sunsets / well, the USA has better things to spend $ on -- three fucked-up foot-shooting never-ending wars

I don't know much about what they do up there, but I know one thing they did: They launched the Hubble Space Telescope, then when it didn't work, they sent astronauts into space to fix it, and finally they went back one more time to extend the Hubble's lifetime and improve its amazing powers to see the most distant parts of the Universe.

13 May 2011

small unimportant controversy / $1000 fine and 1 year in jail if you cut off a baby boy's foreskin

Click image to enlarge.

Agence France-Presse
(newswire, France, founded 1835 -- the world's oldest news agency)
Thursday 28 April 2011

Push to ban 
in San Francisco

by Hannah Dreier (AFP)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Activists who want to ban male circumcision in San Francisco have taken a step toward putting the issue to a popular vote, sparking outcry from Jewish and Muslim groups.

A coalition of "intactivists" submitted 12,000 signatures to Californian city's authorities this week in support of a ballot measure which would criminalize circumcision of males under 18 years old.

The city's Elections Division now has a month to verify that at least 7,000 of the signatures came from registered city voters. If so, the issue will appear on a November ballot.

A growing community of anti-circumcision activists say that the procedure can cause health risks and diminished sexual function, and should be a matter of individual, not parental, choice.

Lloyd Schofield, 59, who been at the helm of the San Francisco effort, says that infants should not be forced to participate in what is essentially culturally accepted genital mutilation.

"Parents are guardians -- they're not supposed to harm their children," he said. "Circumcision is harmful and very, very painful."

Jewish organizations have pledged to campaign against the measure, should it be placed on the ballot.

Anti-Defamation League director Daniel Sandman called Schofield's effort discriminatory and misguided, and noted that circumcision is a central religious obligation for Jews.

"Circumcision has been practiced safely for thousands of years," Sandman said.

"We're currently reaching out to form a broad coalition of people who feel this is an attack directed at religion, parental rights and privacy rights," he added.

Circumcision is also a common rite among Muslims. Council on American-Islamic Relations spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said his group would join with Jews to protect their religious freedoms.

"I think this ban is a solution in search of a problem," he said. "I don't see it even as an issue to be addressed."

Opponents say the ban would never hold up in court because it violates the freedom of religion clause of the US constitution.

Both pro- and anti-circumcision advocates make health claims, but the medical research does not firmly support either position.

If the ban passes, those caught cutting foreskins in San Francisco would face a fine of $1,000 and a year in prison. Only people over 18 could have their foreskins removed, though exceptions might be made for health reasons.

The anti-circumcision group, which spent $8,000 on professional signature gatherers, plans to step-up outreach in Asian and Latino neighborhoods in anticipation of the fall election.

If nothing else, Schofield said, the campaign has sparked an important national conversation.

"This has been a taboo subject even to bring up," he said. "This is a discussion that has been repressed."

California's unique voter initiative system allows residents to place virtually anything on the ballot so long as they secure the requisite signatures.

Many of California's most controversial and restrictive policies have been passed this way, among them a drastic reduction in property taxes and a ban on gay marriage.

Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved.
- 30 -


The Forward / פֿאָרווערטס
also: The Jewish Daily Forward
English and Yiddish editions
New York City / founded 1897
Wednesday 11 May 2011

Don’t Tread 
on a Sacred Tradition

by Melvin Konner

A group in San Francisco has collected enough signatures to force a vote on a law that would make it illegal to “circumcise, excise, cut or mutilate the foreskin, testicle or penis of another person who has not attained the age of 18.”

This ban, if it passes, might infringe on the First Amendment guarantee to freedom of religion.

Constitutional or not, it is without a doubt a slap in the face to Muslims and Jews, an attack on their rights to privacy that would keep them from continuing a millennial tradition of their ancestors, not to mention keeping them from raising their children according to their own conscience and values.

As a longtime supporter of same-sex marriage and a woman’s right to choose, I find it ironic that a city that would never countenance an infringement on abortion rights, and that at one time defended gay cultural practices that were spreading HIV, is now seriously considering listening to these self-proclaimed “intactivists.” San Francisco would be banning a practice that not only has no known health consequences, but also offers possible health benefits, including protecting against some sexually transmitted infections, as well as against cervical and penile cancers.

Because “scientific studies show some medical benefits of circumcision,” the American Academy of Pediatrics recently debated whether to recommend circumcision for all male newborns. But because the benefits to American boys and men are small, their official statement simply says,“Parents may want their sons circumcised for religious, social, or cultural reasons. Because circumcision is not essential to a child’s health, parents should choose what is best for their child….”

But this is not the case in Sub-Saharan Africa, where HIV/AIDS prevalence rates are the highest in the world. Recent studies showed that circumcision lowered by about 60% the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection. This has caused the World Health Organization to strongly recommend the practice, and the Centers for Disease Control to seriously consider doing the same. And while the health advantages have become increasingly clear, the risks have always been minimal, usually limited to pain and bleeding that are easily controlled.

There is very little evidence proving that removal of this flap of skin diminishes future sexual satisfaction or performance. This is in stark contrast to the removal of the clitoris in females, which reduces sexual satisfaction for most, and which is not approved by any major religion.

Foreskin removal does tend to make babies cry. So does putting them (circumcised or not) to bed in a separate room at night, as many pediatricians advise. So does vaccination, urged by all health authorities. So does dropping them off at day care. There are 2,000 pediatric and adolescent football-related injuries treated in American emergency rooms each day during football season. This number is increasing, and it includes thousands of concussions, many spinal cord injuries and at least one death a year. Each year, more than 700 people die in bicycle-related injuries, mostly children.

Note to San Franciscans: Consider other possible bans.

When our son was born three decades ago, we knew we wanted to circumcise him despite not being observant Jews. We found a certified mohel who was also a physician double-boarded in pediatrics and obstetrics, the two fields most concerned with the health and safety of babies. He told us that the only real reason to circumcise is religious. Actually, for us, the true reasons were cultural: We wanted to respect Jewish tradition, and we wanted our son to be and feel Jewish.

Today, these are the most compelling motivations for Jews to choose circumcision: religion and tradition. The Torah says that “he who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people.” It also tells the story of the midwives and mothers in Egypt who circumcised even those boys who were to be thrown into the Nile. According to the second book of Maccabees, mothers literally martyred themselves and their sons rather than fail to circumcise: “Two women were brought in for having circumcised their children. They publicly paraded them around the city, with their babies hanging at their breasts, and then they hurled them down headlong from the wall.” And under the Nazis, circumcisions continued, despite making it easy for the murderers of Jewish children to identify them.

This is a serious tradition, one for which Jews have fought and sacrificed throughout our long history.

It is not harmful, and it may have medical benefits. The proposed ban should and will be opposed by all right-thinking people of any religious faith and by decent people without faith who recognize the rights of parents to decide, within broad limits, what is best for their own children.

Melvin Konner is an M.D., Ph.D. and the author of “The Jewish Body” (Nextbook/Schocken, 2009)
- 30 -


The Forward
Friday 6 May 2011

Outlawing Circumcision
Good for the Jews?

by Eli Ungar-Sargon

The subject of circumcision is often relegated to the realm of jokes and cheeky double-entendres, but a San Francisco ballot initiative now gaining momentum would ban the practice, and it raises some very serious issues. At the heart of the current controversy are three fundamental questions. First, is circumcising an infant wrong? Second, should infant circumcision be against the law? And third, would banning circumcision infringe on the rights of those who practice it as part of their religions?

The answer to the first question is relatively straightforward. Though practiced by Jews for thousands of years and more recently adopted in the United States for its purported health benefits, infant circumcision is an ethically problematic act. By surgically removing the most sensitive part of the penis, we permanently alter a person’s sexual experience and we do so without their consent. The argument that we ought to circumcise babies for health reasons is very weak. Consider an analogous situation: If all women had one breast surgically removed, we could probably reduce the incidence of breast cancer in this country. This is clearly not a sufficient reason to implement such a drastic measure and neither are the claimed health benefits of circumcision.

The answer to the second question is not as clear. Not all ethically problematic behaviors need to be criminalized. For example, sleeping with your wife’s sister may be unethical, but it hardly warrants a law prohibiting the behavior. Proponents of the ballot measure often point out that female circumcision is illegal in the U.S., while male circumcision is practiced routinely. The comparison between female and male circumcision may seem outrageous at first, but upon closer inspection, it is actually reasonable. Female circumcision is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of practices, some of which are less severe than male circumcision. Contrary to common belief, most forms of female circumcision do not completely eliminate a woman’s ability to feel sexual pleasure, yet any form of female genital cutting, even something as minor as a ritual nick to the hood of the clitoris, is illegal in the United States. The comparison to female circumcision is useful in so far as it helps to uncover a cultural bias that has yielded a legal double standard in the U.S. But understanding this inconsistency doesn’t get us any closer to answering the second question. The law prohibiting female circumcision might be as unnecessary as the proposed ban on male circumcision.

Nevertheless, one of the state’s primary responsibilities is to protect its citizens. And by allowing parents to permanently alter the bodies of their children, the state is failing to protect its most vulnerable citizens from bodily harm. It seems reasonable to draw a legal line when it comes to body modifications that have life-long consequences.

To answer the third question, I will focus on the Jewish community, as my knowledge of Islam is insufficient to do that community justice. I would argue that a clear majority of American Jews do not circumcise their sons out of a sense of religious obligation, but rather as a means of ethnic identification. These people mostly have it done in the hospital by medical staff rather than a mohel, which, ironically, means that their sons do not and cannot have an actual religious brit milah.

Criminalizing circumcision would not infringe on this group’s religious rights, as they are not doing it for religious reasons.   But there are religious American Jews who circumcise their boys out of a sense of religious obligation. These Jews can be divided into two groups: the fundamentalists and the non-fundamentalists. The former are a sub-group of Orthodox Jews who believe that our human understanding of ethics should not play a role in shaping Jewish law and practice. A ban on circumcision would indeed infringe on their right to practice their faith as they see fit. The human right to body integrity would, in this instance, override their religious right.

On the other hand, non-fundamentalist Jews, who constitute a very large number of Reform, Conservative, and even some Orthodox Jews, believe that human ethics are an essential element in the Jewish tradition. If my answer to the first question is correct, then there is a Jewish tradition practiced by virtually all Jewish parents today that is morally wrong. This should give pause to any non-fundamentalist religious Jew, and it is a black eye for the liberal movements that they have not taken this issue more seriously. Perhaps a law prohibiting circumcision is just what these Jews need to start a serious discussion about the problem of brit milah.

Eli Ungar-Sargon is an independent filmmaker who grew up in an Orthodox home. His first film, “Cut,” was about circumcision and Jewish identity.
- 30 -



The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, the Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Bert · 4 days ago
Egotistical Jews Like Eli can gain undeserved attention by making this argument. There is no real problem except for those who need to manufacture a problem to advance an agenda that is not totally upfront. Notice that Eli does not dare to include Muslims and that suggests a double standard. Let's attack Jews and exempt Muslims. Those who want to destroy Judaism always conjure up a convenient pretext such as dividing Jerusalem and even internationalizing Jerusalem and also blocking Jews from the Temple Mount. It is always a thrust to the heart of Judaism along with a clever argument to influence the foolish. People like Eli will never be found doing anything to support the Jewish cause such as feeding the Jewish poor of which there are still too many.

sydney · 4 days ago
It should be pointed out that no one forces someone to have his/her son have a brit. We give our sons a brit as part of our covenant with G-d. It is part of belonging to the Jewish people.

The author feels that the State should decide what is good for us. Has he forgotten that he is in the Land of Liberty.

The Brit

[not as in "British" -- Here, Brit is the Sphardic Hebrew pronunciation of the word for ritual infant circumcision. Ashkenazi (European) Jews pronounce it "Bris"]

is essentially a private religious matter. that we make a party and invite people--just like any other simcha.

And as Bert (comment #1) says--let him start with Moslems who do it when the child is an adolescent and on young women as well. Let's see what happens to him after that.

Cassandra · 4 days ago
First, the government already decides what you can and can not do to your children in the name of religion. You can't just do whatever you want to your kids in the name of G-d. Circumcision is a long-overlooked subject, and most people in this country are not circumcising for religious beliefs. Female genital cutting is illegal with no religious exemption. It's unconstitutional that we protect girls but not boys. People forget what 'private matters' or 'personal decisions' really are. In the context of body modification, it's only 'private' or 'personal' if you're referring to your OWN body. It does not make sense to say "It's my 'personal decision' to permanently alter the genitals of another person." A law to ban circumcision would NOT take away rights of the parent, but rather put the rights in their rightful place.... with the person who is receiving the penile modificaion.

David Kelsey · 4 days ago
"If all women had one breast surgically removed, we could probably reduce the incidence of breast cancer in this country. This is clearly not a sufficient reason to implement such a drastic measure and neither are the claimed health benefits of circumcision."

This is an excellent way to phrase it! It is so awful the way Jews--including powerful doctors like Edgar Schoen-- have lobbied for neonatal circumcision ostensibly over "health" issues when in fact, they are motivated by cultural bias.

jindal · 4 days ago
if female genital mutilation is bad, then why isn't its male counterpart?

jindal · 4 days ago
its male counterpart being, of course, circumcision!

karen · 4 days ago
From a Jewish perspective, where is the compulsion to mark your religion on a sex organ? That's just sick! Freud left his sons intact, he saw the wrong in his religion. Our religion comes from the heart, not the penis! And where is the female equivalent? Circumcision is also sexist.

My mother, 95, recalls the horror of my brother's brises. Blood curdling screams, money hungry mohel, torture. There is nothing to celebrate. She is relieved her grandsons are spared this curse and her daughters do not have to live with the gruesome memories she can never forget!
Circumcision is a human right's violation. It should be illegal!

Cyn · 4 days ago
The religious right of Jewish infants are infringed upon when they are circumcised; their right to freedom of religion is being denied by the very act of genital cutting. Muslims cannot subject their female children to genital cutting in the name of their religion. Boys deserve equal protection under the law.

C. Mucius · 4 days ago
Parents are free to form and make decisions for their children in any number of ways. Singling out this one for legal interference is suspect, as are the claims that it is harmful. Take a survey of circumcised Jewish men and compare the number who wish they hadn't been to the number who would have been very upset if they had not been. I suspect those with regrets are substantially in the minority.

Jack · 4 days ago
Baby boy penis part removal should already be considered illegal in the US -- the 1996 federal law banning genital cutting +14th Amendment equal protection clause. Those saying that preventing the cutting off of penis parts of a baby boy violates the cutter's freedom of religion, are way out there in irrational land. One's religion ends where their knife touches another human's body. The idea that another human's ritual trumps ones right to body parts is insane and creepy. Baby boy penis parts removal cuts off thousands of fine touch and stretch nerves. This is like disconnecting the fingertips or lips from the brain. No human should be subjected to sensory system harm as well as a forced decrease of sexual function and PLEASURE for life!

Ben · 4 days ago
This post singles out ritual circumcision when in fact it raises the entire notion of parental authority over children into question. Yes, it is convenient to discuss circumcision in light of the bill brought in the S.F. legislature but why not every other area where parents make decisions that
drastically alter their baby's life? Whether they be other physical choices: immunizations as one example (which has literature on both sides of the debate) or psychological: political, philosophical, religious and ideological outlooks influenced by neighborhood, school and social choices.

The truth is parents make innumerable amount of choices for their children before their children can exercise the right of agency and determine their own course. Many of these choices have, at the very least, as much of a lasting impact on the development of the person as circumcision does, if not more of an impact. Eli Ungar-Sargon's article, while politically relevant and contemporary, does nothing more than chip away at the institution of parenthood and drive society towards a system of anarchy.

If one truly wants to remove the religious argument advocating for or against circumcision than what is called for is a civil debate on the matter, with arguments made much better conceived and not as poorly thought out as this one. True policies, that last and stand the test of time, for a civil society are not made by partisan ideological fighters, who wear blinders and fail to see the irrationality of their argument, but rather made by sincere, thinking individuals who are open to discovering a road that can be paved for the future.

@KOTFrank · 3 days ago
I understand circumcision is part of the Jewish religion. But it wasn't always, not in meaning, ways, amount, and who it was for according to historians. Circumcision just like other aspects of Jewish religion has changed. It is a living religion. I'm not a Jew but after reading Leonard Glick's book Marked in Your Flesh everything on Jewish circumcision ancient to modern, on this subject I feel more Jewish than some of these comments. It was the father's responsibility to circumcise his boy. There was no Mohel. Use to be just cutting the acroposthion off which prevents the scarring of the glans from having the foreskin torn off and preserves half of the foreskin. Circmcision is not mention in Genesis 15. So as an outsider to the Jewish religion, I see enough room historically to stop this particular mitsvah.

Ari · 3 days ago
Part of being a parent is making decisions on behalf of your child. Just as parents make consequential medical decisions on behalf of a young child, so too should they be able to make consequential spiritual decisions. The Brit Milah ceremony joins a child into a 3,000 year old covenant, and
establishes that the child will be raised in a home based on Jewish values. For many Jewish families, this decision is as significant as any decision they'll make about their child's life.

The state should be allowed to intervene only if the child's health or wellbeing is not put in serious danger, which it almost certainly isn't. The infant's nerve endings still aren't fully formed, and any discomfort they feel is soon forgotten. Many Jewish men would be surprised to learn that their
circumcision has "permanently altered their sexual experience."

Ungar-Sargon should have the humility to think significantly harder before judging himself qualified to discard one of the seminal ritual experiences of our 3,000 year history.

Alejandro · 3 days ago
When I was 7 I found out that the body I thought was not just mine but ME, had been altered without my prior informed consent. Fifty years later I can still remember the rage and sense of betrayal I felt at the time. "How could you do this to me? I thought you loved me and wanted to take care of me, not cut me up and change me."

Alejandro · 3 days ago
It's curious to me that circumcision is one of the last attachements to tradition that many secular Jews still adhere to. Theodore Herzl did not have his sons circumcised, and an earlier comment says that was true for Freud too. If a new revelation came along that said "You must cut off your children's ears as a sign of the covenent to hear ME and follow my commandments," how many of us would even consider doing it? Why do we cling to this ancient practice?

That the covenent excludes women is significant. Why retain a divisive practice that harms our childlren, by clinging to medical benefits that are negated by teaching our sons to care for their bodies?

There are many strands in our tradition. I think a concerned response would be to ground our actions in the belief that we are created in the image of God, from birth. Our bodies are holy, are not in need of improvement, and certainly not to imprint on some of them the privileged male covenant most Jews don't believe in anyway.

Harmed · 3 days ago
"It's curious to me that circumcision is one of the last attachements to tradition that many secular Jews still adhere to."

It's because the victims of this have no voice. The other rites that caused harm to another were stopped because they could speak out. An 8 day old infant can only scream and obviously no one is listening.

bert · 3 days ago
By all means let us empower the government to make ALL decisions about children and their welfare because the government always knows best. And let us thank G-d for President Obama who had the wisdom to appoint a School Safety Czar to protect our school children in the government-mandated public schools. (Home schoolers must be prosecuted!) Obama's Czar is promoting his brand of sex education for teenagers. He is reported to be indoctrinating our youth to the sexual pleasures of 'fisting' and other
such delights. We are all morally obligated to obey because Obama was democratically elected and he has assumed the power to appoint many Czars to rule wisely over us. Anyone who disagrees should be prosecuted for denying children the blessings of government control over their lives rather then their parents.

Becca · 3 days ago
TRUTH. Circumcision is immoral when done without permission.

Mark · 3 days ago
When you look at a baby in the mothers womb after a few weeks it can be identified with a ultra sound as a baby.Where is all the whining about a real crime.I bet most of the anti Circumcision posters here are all for Abortion.

Mr.Stephen · 3 days ago
Realistically, traditional Jews do not have to worry about this measure passing the ballot. It won't happen.

What they do have to worry about is that this vote makes circumcision a legitimate political issue.

Therefore, it will be discussed back and forth. Those in favor of the measure will bring forth evidence - which will now be a subject of discussion - for the function of the foreskin in sex, how it enhances the male's sexual experience, as well as the sexual disadvantages and losses which result from a circumcision.

The more that parents become aware of the foreskin and its advantages, the more that parents - including Jewish parents - will choose not to circumcise their sons, instead allowing their sons to make that decision for themselves.

This is the real danger to traditional Jews and Judaism.

Saul · 3 days ago
All I had to read was that this is coming from San Fransicko

diane · 3 days ago
There is everything immoral about circumcision and as Jews we need to learn our own history and stop hiding behind this barbaric ritual. Originally circumcision was a tribal nick and only thousands of years later did it start to include the p'riah, which is removal of the whole foreskin.

The foreskin is not just a piece of unnecessary skin. The foreskin has the same extra-sensory nerve endings as the tip of your fingers. These nerve endings are not found on the penis. I don't think G-d made a baby boy's body so deformed that something needs to get amputated right away.

Also the medical reasons for it change for each generation after the last reason gets debunked: masturbation, penile cancer, cervical cancer, UTI, HIV. It is also easier to keep an intact penis clean than it is to clean a baby girl's vulva - but no one has ever told me I should cut off my daughter's ****oris to make it easier.

Maybe as "people of the Book" we need these types of referendums so that we look at ourselves and our actions. We no longer stone to death masturbators. We don't sacrifice bulls anymore. But we still strap down our eight-day-old sons and cut off an integral part of their penis - and we do it without anesthesia.

So let's stop doing knee- jerk reactions to this discussion and fellow Jews educate yourselves. It is a hard look in the mirror but I think we owe it to our beautiful religion to examine this issue. And we owe it to our baby boys.

A Jewish mama with an intact, Jewish son

bill · 3 days ago
Circumcision is a public health issue. Uncircumcised males are more likely to get STDs than are circumcised ones. AIDs is a problem in Africa precisely because circumcision is not practiced. Nor does circumcision have any effect on sexual performance. For the same reasons the author's comparison of male and female circumsion is outlandish. Female circumcision destroys the ability to obtain pleasurable satisfaction from sex and is rightfully considered to be sexual mutilation. Male circumcision does not. This is an extremely irresponsible article which is completely distorting the very serious issues involved.

Borg · 3 days ago
This comment has been deleted by the administrator.

Ari E-B · 3 days ago
I think you need a new fact checker. Firstly, the argument against circumcision seems to be simply that it's a bodily change with minimal benefit. Should we also outlaw ear piercings for infants? unhealthy food? How about parents who give their children horrible names? Studies have shown it can have a long lasting affect. (And if you don't know what I mean by horrible names, you need to spend more time in a children's hospital).

The author also claims that circumcision reduces male sexual pleasure. I have seen no studies that actually show this. I have however seen studies which show that circumcision reduces the likelihood of HIV transmission. (The link to penile cancer was found to be specious as the author claims, but picking and choosing your studies like that is the worst form of the straw man argument). The most recent AAP guidance does list several benefits to circumcision, but does not issue a recommendation, for or
against, for making circumcision routine.

The author also claims that Jews who circumcise in a hospital (as opposed to a mohel), would not have their religious belief infringed upon if circumcision were outlawed. I'm not so sure many of them would agree. I know many people who have their children circumcised in the hospital. True, they were not fulfilling the tradition of the brit to the letter, but they were doing what they felt was necessary to fulfill the spirit of the law and continue the spiritual and physical connection to their faith.

Claiming, as you seem to be, that any Jew who complies with the law in any amount less than 100% has no claim to Judaism is perhaps the most offensive argument you've used.

Lastly, you even got the facts wrong in your metaphor. Sleeping with your wife's sister is adultery, and is illegal in 26 states and DC.

Lenny Tone · 3 days ago
G-d commands all Jewish males to be circumcised, period. Where is the debate? The choice is whether or not to obey G-d. And I'll bet that most that are concerned for the rights of the 8-day old boy are also pro-abortion.

Cheski · 3 days ago
The following story was told by Rabbi Israel Spira, the Rebbe of Bluzhov, who witnessed it in the Janowska Concentration Camp:

Each morning at dawn, the Germans would lead us out of the camp for a day of hard labor that ended only at nightfall. Each pair of workers was given a huge saw and expected to cut its quota of logs. Because of the horrendous conditions in the camp and the starvation rations on which we were supposed to subsist, most of us could barely stand on our feet. But we sawed away, knowing that our lives depended upon it; anyone collapsing on the job or failing to meet his daily quota was killed on the spot, G-d forbid.

One day, as I pulled and pushed the heavy saw with my partner, I was approached by a young woman from our work detail. The pallor of her face showed her to be in an extremely weak physical state. "Rebbe," she whispered to me, "do you have a knife?"

I immediately understood her intention and felt the great responsibility that rested upon me. "My daughter," I begged, concentrating all the love and conviction in my heart in the effort to dissuade her from her intended deed. "Do not take your own life. I know that your life is now a living hell,
from which death seems a blessed release. But we must never lose hope. With G-d's help, we will survive this ordeal and see better days."

But the woman seemed oblivious to my words. "A knife," she repeated. "I must have a knife. Now. Before it is too late."

At that moment, one of the German guards noticed our whispered conversation and approached us. "What did she say to you?" He demanded of me.

We both froze. Conversing during work was a grave transgression. Many a camp inmate had been shot on the spot for far lesser crimes.

The woman was first to recover. "I asked him for a knife," she said. To my horror, she then addressed her request to the guard: "Give me a knife!"

The German, too, guessed her intention, and a devilish smile flickered on his lips. Doubtless he had seen the bodies of those who, out of desperation, threw themselves during the night on the electrified fence that surrounded the camp; but this would be a novel sight for him. Still smiling, he reached into his pocket and handed her a small knife.

Taking the knife, she hurried back to her work station and bent over a small bundle of rags that she had placed on a log. Quickly unraveling the bundle, she took out a tiny infant. Before our astonished eyes, she swiftly and skillfully circumcised the week-old boy.

"Blessed are You, G-d our G-d, King of the Universe," she recited in a clear voice, "Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to enter him into the covenant of Abraham our Father."

Cradling the child in her arms, she soothed his cries. Then, she addressed the heavens: "Master of the Universe! Eight days ago you gave me a child. I know that neither I nor he will long survive in this accursed place. But now, when you take him back, you will receive him as a complete Jew."

"Your knife," she said, handing the holy object back to the German. "Thank you."

Jason · 3 days ago
Religion is the only thing preventing infant circumcision being outlawed. It's unnecessarily complicating something that should be simple. I've seen here and elsewhere countless people saying that parents have the right to make decisions for their kids, but to what extent? These same people always bring up the same arguments, "So does the kid get a choice about going to school?" being one of their favourites. It is a stupid comparison, often made by people smart enough to know better. Suppose a parent, for whatever reasons, decided that their kid would be better off with scars all over their
face. Would it be acceptable for them to inflict such damage on their kid? They are, after all, the child's parent, and they only want what's best. It seems clear to me that the only reason most folks circumcise their kids, for religious reasons or otherwise, is because they know that few grown men would submit themselves to such an procedure.

Ari · 3 days ago
As someone whose parents had me circumsized in a religious ceremony when I was eight days old, I can tell you that I don't at all feel "abused," "victimized," or "damaged." I would feel "abused" "victimized" and "damaged" if rabid secularists had forced my parents not to circumsize me and prevented them from marking my entry into the coventant of Abraham.

Yishai · 3 days ago
A technical point, which I feel is important to make as it illustrates, as with many aspects of this author's article, a lack of sophisticated understanding of the religious significance of the ritual and thus should be taken with a grain of salt. He notes that a medical circumcision renders the religious aspect of the ceremony impossible. This is wrong on two points. First off, while I am not an expert in the issue, I am fairly certain that for reasons of the fulfillment of the mitzvah of brit milah, the circumcision would be "b'd'avad" -- that is, post facto -- considered acceptable, if not ideal. Second, even if this were not the case, there is a halakhic [Jewish legal] remedy (which American males who convert at least within the Orthodox and Conservative streams of Judaism, most of whom under 50 were likely circumcised if born in an American hospital) called hatafat dam brit, in which a ceremonial drop of blood is taken in lieu of a full circumcision. But this underscores a larger point. The good doctor doesn't understand these things and doesn't care about them -- fine. But he is treading on dangerous ground by demanding that our civil law reflect his poor understanding. He doesn't care about Jews and our barbaric customs? Fine. But he should reflect on the wider implications and, as many posters here have underscored, historical resonance of his opinions.

Michael · 3 days ago
There is medical proof that male circumcision reduces transmission of AIDS. This alone is sufficient argument to advocate for universal male circumcision, all other considerations aside. As for those who argue the government cannot enforce universal male circumcision, let me point out the mandatory government policy for smallpox vaccination - a policy that was physically enforced regardless of whether person being vaccinated agreed to immunized or not.

Also, grouping Jews into 'fundamentalist' and 'non-fundamentalist' is meaningless. There are no 'fundamentalist' Jews unless you count the Samaritan sect (all 500 + or - of them). There are observant Jews and non-observant Jews. There are Jews of varying observance. But modern Jewish thought and observance is still rooted in the Talmud, Mishneh and other post biblical commentary. To be fundamentalist would be abandon these and to hew strictly to what is contained within the Torah.

Michael · 3 days ago
Another comment - this argument is not old. During the pre-Maccabean era, when the Greek Seleucid Empire ruled Judaea, there was a struggle over this very issue. The Greek view was that uncircumcised males felt less pleasure, but more to the point circumcision was a barbaric custom denoting inferiority. Since Greek culture was paramount (after all, they ran everything) and it's influence pervasive, it led to the absurd situation of Jewish men seeking to assimilate or advance in that society would attempt reconstructive surgery or other methods (300 BC style) to regenerate a foreskin.

This was not a laughable issue, as there was little chance of hiding one's circumcision (and hence inferiority) as an assimiliated Jew - the Gymnasium (literally meaning 'train naked' ) was a very important cultural public institution in which men were expected to participate.

Megan · 3 days ago
While I can't speak for Jews, I CAN speak for Muslims. Nowhere in the Koran is it written that males must be circumcised. It's "commendable" but not a MUST. My youngest is being raised both Muslim and Christian, and he is intact. If he wants to make that covenant with Allah, he can.

Jews opting for a Brit Shalom over a Brit milah is gaining in popularity, and more and more Jews are questioning this practice. Also, the circumcisions performed in the Christian's Old testament were nothing more than a knick in the foreskin, not the total removal of the prepuce as practiced at today's

Megan · 3 days ago
Let me also ask: why can't people make that decision for themselves? What would the harm be in leaving children intact, and if they decide to get circumcised as a token of the covenant between God and Abraham... wouldn't that mean MORE than doing it to every child at 8 days old? When my sons were baptized, *I* make the promise to raise them in God's house. If they decide to be Episcopalian on their own, they can get Confirmed.
@Michael: studies done in the third-world country where there is lack of education, lack of care, and lack of resources, those studies don't count... did you know that most of the men in those African studies are now HIV+? Why? THERE WAS NO EDUCATION. Even the CDC says that in the USA, circumcision will NOT drop the incidence of STDs/AIDS, because most cases here in the USA are caused by homosexual contact, not heterosexual contact like in Africa. Even the CDC acknowledges that circumcision may only decrease the incidence of heterosexual transmission, it will NOT decrease the incidence of homosexual transmission. Know what really prevents against STDs/AIDS? CONDOMS AND EDUCATION.

C. Mucius · 3 days ago
I find myself wondering how many of the "anti-snip" commentariat is comprised of regular Forward readers . . .

Dave · 2 days ago
And the City of San Fransisco would enforce this "outlawed" practice how exactly? Will there be special squads of penis police assigned to hospitals and brunches to make sure no illegal snipping will occur?

Will they post the penis police on the highways and byways of the city to prevent renegade mohels from entering the city?

Only a complete moron would waste tax payers dollars debating a completely unenforceable law.

c baumhaft · 2 days ago
the single most regretable action of my entire life is that i handed my sweet, trusting infant over for circumcision. if i could take it back, i would in a heartbeat. that's all i can say on this topic -- as a mother and as a jew.

Ezra · 2 days ago
In a nutshell, those promoting the proposed law have sex on the brain. Their definition of themselves is based on what kinds of pleasure they can get from their sexual organs, and to them, the most horrifying fate possible is that they might lose the slightest bit of such pleasure.

To such people (many commenters on this thread included), there is nothing higher to live for, no concept of a covenant, no notion of self-sacrifice for something greater than themselves. One commenter upthread had it exactly right when he noted that it is hardly surprising that this measure comes from San Francisco, spiritual home of the "Me Generation."

So, in fine, why should we Jews be required to abandon a millennia-old practice in order to please a couple of narcissists?

Jack2 · 2 days ago
David and Michael Benatar have addressed the more rational of anti-circumcision comments in "How not to argue about circumcision," 2003 _The American Journal of Bioethics_ 3(2): W1-W9, a response to comments
to their previous article “Between Prophylaxis and Child Abuse: The Ethics of Neonatal Male Circumcision” [_The American Journal of Bioethics_ 3(2):35-48]. In particular, they argue that circumcision can be beneficial to a male before he would be able to otherwise provide consent. They conclude the issue of consent regarding infant circumcision is ethically analogous to parents making other "...decisions on behalf of their incompetent offspring," e.g., other childhood surgical procedures [example mine].

Dr Zawahiri · 2 days ago
In order to accomodate the overwhelming demand for circumcision reversals, I have opened the Sargon Clinic for Circumsizion Reversal in San Francisco. We are a team of transplant surgeons who have lost their license in other states because of insurance fraud, but are skilled in removing the corona of the penis and using microsurgery to attach foreskins that we pilfer from San Franciso General Hospital. We attempt to color match the donor foreskin with the host, and then prescribe anti-rejection drugs such as prednisone, cyclosporine and imuran to prevent rejection of the foreskin. We usually can get insurance companies to pay for this. Contact us at

AMB · 2 days ago
If you are required to look inside your underpants, everyday of your life, to know exactly what your true identity is, you aren’t playing with a full dick!

AMB · 2 days ago
For those who continue to deny that circumcision causes harm, despite all evidence to the contrary, you should really consider joining the “Flat Earth Society”. Google it.

For over 3000 years people thought the earth was flat, hollow and square. The Bible speaks of ‘the four corners’ of the earth. How could something that was believed for so long, be so wrong? Especially if it is in the bible?

Turns out that the earth isn’t flat, hollow, or square! Amazing! And, that males actually DO need their foreskins!

Dear Dr Zawahiri-
Q: What do you call a newly brised, screaming baby boy, with a wine soaked rag shoved in its mouth?
A: A gag order.

Elaygee · 1 day ago
18 and over before any parts can be cut off would be a fair policy.

Joseph4GI · 1 day ago
To all those talking about "the state infringing on our rights," remember the state already regulates other religions. Jehovah's witnesses can't deny blood transfussions for their children, for example. Snake handlers will get in trouble if they involve children in their rituals. Muslims cannot slash their heads on the day of Ashura. And, Malaysians, Indonesians and Singaporians cannot give "sunat" to their baby girls. "Sunat" is not as bad as male circumcision either.

Michael · 1 day ago
Another question for those who argue it is immoral to force circumcision on infants - can't the same argument about postponing circumcision until age of consent also be made with respect to immunizations?

If the argument is what right does a parent have to perform a surgically irreversible procedure on an infant who is incapable of understanding what is happening and has no choice, what about vaccines that have potentially harmful, irreversible, or fatal risks (this applies to all vaccines - there is no such thing as a risk free medical procedure)? What about the decision on whether a child should be forced to go to school - how many wasted years

Joseph4GI · 1 day ago
Michael, you are assuming that circumcision is anything like an immunization. I'm afraid that circumcision can't come anything close to behaving like a vaccine. Whereas a vaccine actually effects the immune system, and it strengthens it against microbes that cause disease, circumcision does no such thing. Once HIV invades the body, it doesn't really matter if somebody has been circumcised or not.

Now, are you seriously trying to bring up "medical benefits?" Let's see how much you actually care.

Let's say an actual medical genius came up with a super vaccine that provides all those "benefits" circumcision is supposed to give. Would wave away the mohel?

I mean it sounds like you're seriously suggesting that Jews would stop circumcising if this were the case. I mean if this is so, then let the search for a better preventative solution begin!

Copyright © 2011, Forward Association, Inc. All Rights Reserved.